It's Not About More Programs!
All we need is another program. That's what I have heard in the church over the years. Let's develop another program. In response to this let me say unequivocally, "NO! NO! NO!... We do NOT need another program. If that is all we need churches everywhere would be flourishing.
Jesus' final words prior to his ascension was that we were to make disciples of all nations. We who follow Jesus do not need to debate that. We do not need to ponder that. AND we do not need to present that to the church's Administrative Council for approval. We do not vote on the commands of Jesus. As Bob Farr says, "Our mission is clear; the only question is how your local church is going to carry it out" (p. 51).
The church moves forward not in developing programming, but in developing strategies, and mission is the "plumbline in renovation" (p. 53). The problem is that churches, all too often, FDR the church to the extreme, meaning that the church democratizes the decision making process to include everyone and the old adage that "too many cooks spoil the broth" is fulfilled in our hearing. The result is that the mission and outreach of the church is stunted in favor of endless discussion and debate among committees. We talk and talk and talk while the mission is neglected.
Bob Farr is correct: we spend too much time listening to the insiders. We need, not an other program, but a strategy. What is that strategy? We must make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Anything less is unacceptable to the Lord who calls us to embody his life in the world.
It seems to me that the church leadership has settled on the mission. But does the general member:
b. understand, and
c. feel capable of being part of the mission?
or are they leaving because they don't?
Good questions, Frank. I suppose that it's a little of everything. But just as in other areas of life where we know certain things work if done in a certain way, we also know that when it comes to the mission of the church certain things work as well, as long as the church is willing to do what is necessary.
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